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Renovation, Repair and Painting Program: Firm Certification

If you are a renovation firm, then we recommend you read through all of the subjects below to learn how to fulfill your legal requirements to protect yourself, your employees and your clients from the dangers of lead exposure.

Overview | Firm Certification | Renovator Training | Work Practices | Resources

EPA's Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) Rule Exitrequires both firms and people to be certified. This section provides information about firm certification, where EPA is responsible for the renovation program, as well as how to apply and what fees are required.

Determine if You Apply to EPA or Your State, Tribe or Territory

EPA's renovation program applies to all states, tribes and territories where EPA has not specifically provided authorization for that state, tribe or territory to operate the program themselves. Therefore, if you do work in an area other than the states or the tribe listed in the paragraph below, apply for EPA Firm Certification

Contractors working in these states: AlabamaDelawareGeorgiaIowaKansasMassachusettsMississippiNorth CarolinaOklahomaOregonRhode IslandUtahWashington and Wisconsinor in the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe - Bois Forte (Nette Lake) should follow the link provided for the state or tribe for more information about their training and certification requirements. These states are authorized to administer their own RRP programs in lieu of the federal program. By following the state links above, you will leave the EPA web site.ExitNote that if you work in more than one state, you may need both EPA and state certification.

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RRP Rule Requires Firm Certification 

Federal law requires all renovation, repair, and painting firms (including sole proprietorships) working in housing, or facilities where children are routinely present, built before 1978, to be certified. Firm certification is a key requirement to ensure the training of individuals and the use of lead-safe work practices. Firms must apply to EPA for certification to perform renovations or dust sampling. To apply, a firm must submit a completed application and fee to EPA online. 

  • All applications, payments, updates and certificate replacement requests are done online (payment methods include credit card, debit card or electronic check).
  • EPA RRP firm certifications are good for five years.
  • When applying for recertification, your new certification begins when your old one expires. You are not penalized for applying early.
  • Application processing takes a week or two. Once complete your approval will be delivered by email from Please add the email address to your contacts to ensure delivery of the approval in your inbox.
  • The approval email will include a personalized “Lead-Safe Certified Firm” logo and instructions for its use. Feel free to use the logo on your advertising materials in accordance with the logo use guidelines.
  • Your certificate and customized logo are also sent to your CDX inbox, so if you don’t see the approval in your email check there.  Just keep in mind it may take a week or two for the application to be approved. 
  • View frequent questions about applying for firm certification.

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Firm Responsibilities

Firms performing renovations must ensure that:

  • All individuals performing activities that disturb painted surfaces on behalf of the firm are either certified renovators or have been trained by a certified renovator.
  • A certified renovator is assigned to each renovation and performs all of the certified renovator responsibilities.
  • All renovations performed by the firm are performed in accordance with the work practice standards of the RRP Program.
  • Pre-renovation education and lead pamphlet distribution requirements of the RRP Program are performed.
  • The program’s recordkeeping requirements are met.

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When Should Recertification Applications be Submitted?

  • You must apply for a re-certification at least 90 days before the firm's current certification expires.
  • If a complete application, including the proper fee, is submitted 90 days or more before the date the firm's current certification expires, then the application will be considered timely and sufficient.
    • In that case, the firm's existing certification will remain in effect until its expiration date or until EPA has made a final decision to approve the re-certification application, or not, whichever occurs later.
    • The expiration date for the firm's re-certification will be 5 years from the date the existing certification expired, regardless of when the re-certification is approved.
  • However, in cases where a complete application is submitted less than 90 days before the date the current certification expires, if EPA does not approve the re-certification application before the existing application expires, then the firm's certification expires.
    • In this case, the recertification application will be regarded as a new certification, and the expiration date will be five years from when this new certification is issued.
    • The firm will not be able to conduct renovations until EPA approves this new certification application.
  • Similarly, if the firm submits an incomplete application for re-certification and EPA does not receive all of the required information and fees before the date the firm's current certification expires, or if the firm does not submit its application until after its certification expired, then EPA will not approve the firm's re-certification application.
    • Again, the recertification application will be regarded as a new certification, and the expiration date will be 5 years from when this new certification is issued.
    • The firm will not be able to conduct renovations until EPA approves this new certification application.
  • If EPA does not approve the application, then the Agency will provide the applicant with the reasons for not approving the re-certification application. Any fees submitted by the applicant will not be refunded, but the firm can submit a new application for certification, along with the correct amount of fees, at any time.

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If My Information Changes do I Have to Amend My Application?

A firm must amend its certification within 90 days of a change to information included in its most recent application. Examples of amendments include a change in the firm's name without transfer of ownership, or a change of address or other contact information. If a firm fails to amend its certification within 90 days of the date the change occurs, then it will not be authorized to perform renovations until its certification has been amended.

Amending a certification will not affect the validity of the existing certification or extend the certification expiration date. EPA will issue the firm a new certificate if necessary to reflect information included in the amendment. Firm certifications are not transferable. If the firm is sold, the new owner must submit a new initial application for certification.

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Fee Schedule

Fee Type Amount
Renovation Firm Certification/Recertification $300 (this fee is $20 for a tribal firm)
Lead-based Paint Activities Certification/Recertification (Abatement, Inspection, Risk Assessment) $550 (this fee is $20 for a tribal firm)
Combined Renovation and Lead-based Paint Activities Firm Application $550 (this fee is $20 for a tribal firm)
Replacement Certificate $15

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Fee Refund Policy

Firms having submitted an application and associated fees for certification or re-certification who wish to withdraw their application prior to Agency approval will receive a fee refund based upon the schedule listed below. Firms who request a refund more than 10 days after the Agency receives the application will receive only a partial refund.

Number of Days Following Agency Receipt of Application Percent Reimbursable (based upon total fees submitted)
Up to 10 days 100%
11 to 60 days 75%
61 to 120 days 50%
121 or more days 25%

Note: Refunds will only be made after EPA verifies fee receipt and deposit by the U.S. Treasury. Firms must notify the Agency in writing in order to qualify for a refund. The date of withdrawal is the date on which the Agency received the withdrawal notification. EPA will not refund fees after granting a firm certification or re-certification. If your application is disapproved, then EPA will not refund fees. Refunds are not available for replacing a certificate. Refund and withdrawal requests must be sent to the following address:

P.O. Box 14417
Washington, DC 20044-4417

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